It was a big deal back in the mid-to-late aughts that Lost cost around $1 million an episode to produce. That money made the show feel more cinematic, which helped usher in the current "Golden Age" of TV, where shows feel like movies and have budgets to match. Fast-forward to 2019, and a live-action Star Wars show that hasn't even come out yet is already one of the most expensive series ever.
The Mandalorian, which will hit Disney+ in November, was originally supposed to cost around $10 million an episode for 10 episodes. But after looking through some early rough cuts, the producers probably felt there weren't enough Dewbacks shuffling aimlessly in the background or musical numbers from anus-lipped aliens, so now it's ballooned to $15 million an episode. That's $150 million for one season of a show.
For perspective, in 2011, back before HBO knew what kind of monstrous hit they'd have on their hands with Game Of Thrones, the first season checked in at around $6 million an episode. By the time its six-episode final season came out in 2019, the show was so wildly popular that it was easy for HBO to justify spending $15 million per episode, making it one of the most expensive single seasons of TV ever.
Only the Star Wars name can ensure that a show that hasn't put out a single episode is somehow ready to beat that record set by Game Of Thrones only months after that epic final season -- and they're already writing the second season on top of that. One thing's for certain: To win the streaming wars of the future, you need Death-Star-sized balls.
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